Tesla Launches 'Dog Mode' to Keep Pets Inside Cars Safe

Douglas A. McIntyre

For people who want to keep their pets in the car as they do things humans do, like errands and food shopping, Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has launched a new “Dog Mode” to protect animals left in its vehicles. The electric car company said the new technology will keep the temperature at a preset level no matter how hot the temperature becomes outside.

In a tweet, Tesla management said: “Introducing Dog Mode: set a cabin temperature to keep your dog comfortable while letting passersby know they don’t need to worry.” In an illustration, Tesla shows two dogs in a car with the temperature preset to 70 degrees.

According to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), 56 dogs and other animals died in cars in 2018 through October 10. PETA’s number includes only heat-related deaths. The organization gave a list of animal car deaths by date, location and type of animal. Research shows that when it is 75 degrees out, temperatures in cars can rise to 104 degrees in only 20 minutes. PETA also gave suggestions that Tesla owners with Dog Mode do not need. Among these are to keep animals at home, never leave an animal in a vehicle in hot weather, call 911 if you see a pet in a car and recognize the symptoms of heat stroke.

Incidentally, Tesla launched “Sentry Mode” at the same time. The new technology is meant to keep people from breaking into Tesla vehicles. The company’s management points out that someone breaks into a car in the United States every 40.8 seconds (2017 data). Sentry Mode uses the vehicle’s external cameras as a “guard.” The mode operates at several levels. The technology works this way:

If a minimal threat is detected, such as someone leaning on a car, Sentry Mode switches to an “Alert” state and displays a message on the touchscreen warning that its cameras are recording. If a more severe threat is detected, such as someone breaking a window, Sentry Mode switches to an “Alarm” state, which activates the car alarm, increases the brightness of the center display, and plays music at maximum volume from the car’s audio system.

Tesla gave car owners a way to set Sentry Mode in a release that gives details of how controls should be set to activate the new feature.

In just two hours, Tesla management has released technology to protect both pets and owner’s cars.